New Zealand High Commission Pretoria, South Africa
NZAID Africa Programme Manager's Visit to Kenya: June 2012
In June our NZAID Africa Programme Manager, Thandiwe Moyana-Munzara, travelled to Kenya to visit programme partners, meet government and donors in the agricultural sector and present a pre-departure briefing for NZ development scholarship awardees. Agriculture constitutes 26% of Kenya’s GDP and the favourable climate and underutilised fertile land offers opportunities for New Zealand engagement.
Olivado : Avocado Oil
Thandi visited Olivado, a New Zealand company with a factory in Kenya’s Muranga District. Olivado purchases avocados from small holder farmers and produces organic avocado oil for export. The company provides the farmers with fertilizer and trains them in organic farming techniques to increase the productivity of the avocado trees, which can produce anything from 700kg to 1 tonnes of avocados in a season.
New Zealand has recently awarded scholarships to 6 students from the Geothermal Development Company in Nakuru, to study for post-graduate diplomas, leading to their Masters in Geothermal Energy Technology, at Auckland University. The students commence their studies in July 2012. Thandi gave the students a pre-departure briefing to explain their scholarship conditions, entitlements and provide general information about New Zealand. The scholarships are building upon prior New Zealand engagement in Kenya’s geothermal energy development.
Root Capital : micro-financing for improved agricultural output
Thandi also met with a Jasmine Trust NZ’s partner ‘Root Capital’ which provides affordable access to capital for agricultural stakeholders, to increase their productivity and output. Root Capital is providing loans at all levels of the agricultural value chain. Access to finance for agriculture at small holder level in Kenya is limited, so there has been great demand for Root Capital’s financing as it is tailored to client needs e.g. repayment periods can be tailored to coincide with the producer’s harvesting times. The number of loans dispersed by Root Capital increased by 67% per year, with a repayment rate of 99%.
One Acre Fund : Improving agricultural yields on small plots
In Bungoma Thandi visited a One Acre Fund (OAF) programme. OAF is another of Jasmine Trust NZ’s partners. OAF provides loans to smallholder farmers in the form of agricultural inputs: seed, fertilizer and tools, coupled with training in more effective farming methods. These interventions have seen the agricultural yields of farmers increase by up to 100%. OAF has maintained a 99% repayment rate, also indicative of customer satisfaction as they retain 99% of farmers on their programme.
Head of Mission Fund Recipient : So They Can
Finally, Thandi called on a Head of Mission Fund (HOMF) beneficiary in Nakuru, ‘So They Can’, a New Zealand based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) with operations in Kenya. The NGO is working with communities that were internally displaced by the post-election violence that occurred in 2008. The NGO has supported these Internally Displaced People (IDPs) with the construction and resourcing of a school, orphanage and clinic which are mostly staffed by the Kenyan government. The HOMF project is supporting small income generating projects, such as poultry farming, market gardening and micro-lending and savings for micro enterprises, to improve livelihoods and household incomes.